Nifty Gateway NFT Marketplace: A Beginner’s Guide

The Gemini-owned marketplace is known for its high-end digital art and curated collections.
Updated Aug 17, 2022 at 9:47 p.m. UTC
Crypto Explainer+

Griffin McShane is a freelance writer for CoinDesk, currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Griffin has also written the Inside Crypto newsletter for Jason Calacanis' Inside.com and is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

There are several digital marketplaces where users can buy and sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs). One popular option is Nifty Gateway, which was founded in 2018 by brothers Duncan and Griffin Cock Foster with the mission to make NFTs “accessible to everyone.” It was acquired by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’ cryptocurrency exchange Gemini in late 2019.

Like NFT marketplace SuperRare, Nifty Gateway is known for emphasizing high-end digital art and curated collections. The platform regularly offers limited-edition collections through partnerships with top artists and brands, including Beeple, Daniel Arsham and Pak.

While other Ethereum blockchain-based marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible continue to dominate the market, Nifty Gateway’s extensive collection of curated digital art and its unique custodial option offer a different experience for NFT collectors.

What makes Nifty Gateway different?

Nifty Gateway offers several services that differentiate it from other NFT marketplaces.

Custodial system

One of Nifty Gateway’s biggest points of difference is that it offers a custodial option. Crypto custody is a term used to describe who is responsible for keeping digital assets secured. You most often see that term linked to crypto wallets, which can be custodial or non-custodial. With NFTs, Nifty Gateway serves as a third-party custodian of NFTs bought and sold on its platform.

NFTs stored on the platform use Gemini’s custody product, which holds digital assets in a secure offline system known as “cold storage.” Nifty Gateway uses an "omnibus wallet," or a master holding account, to move NFTs around the platform without having to process a transaction on the blockchain. This option means that there are no gas fees, which are typically required for any transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, including the transfer of an NFT.

Notably, this option also means that Nifty Gateway can step in to help if users lose access to their account or password.

Credit card payments

The custodial option on Nifty Gateway allows traders to use various payment methods to pay for an NFT, including debit or credit cards, prepaid ETH deposited into a platform-linked wallet or crypto funds from a Gemini account.

Wallet 2 Wallet (w2w)

Nifty Gateway also offers a non-custodial option for NFT sales called Wallet 2 Wallet (w2w), which allows users to buy and sell NFTs in ether (ETH) directly from their external crypto wallets. Because w2w transactions occur on the blockchain, gas fees are incurred, although Nifty Gateway’s custom smart contract makes NFT transactions more efficient, reducing the cost of gas fees by up to 70%.

As of August 2022, the feature allows users to create a w2w listing only for an NFT that is held in an Ethereum wallet, and users can purchase w2w listings only with ETH held in a MetaMask wallet. About one in five listings on the site are w2w.

No gas fees when minting

Nifty Gateway also covers 100% of the gas fees during the minting of an NFT on its platform at no cost to the collector.

Collectors will be responsible for gas fees only when they withdraw prepaid ETH, withdraw an NFT through payment options like Google Pay and Apple, or purchase an NFT with prepaid ETH and deposit NFTs into Nifty Gateway.

In addition, the company's latest update will cut its marketplace fee for listings from 5% to 2.5%, which is the same amount that competitors like OpenSea and Rarible charge. SuperRare has a 3% fee.

The platform says that users will never pay a fee to delist an NFT.

Curated and verified drops

Nifty Gateway requires new NFT releases to be reviewed and verified before being sold.

Curated Drops are selected by Nifty Gateway and sold directly by the creator exclusively on the platform. Verified Drops are drops across the NFT ecosystem that Nifty Gateway verifies to be authentic. Those drops are listed on the site as a calendar with the date and time of each drop flagged in advance.

The platform also has a secondary marketplace where users can purchase popular collections that it has verified like Bored Ape Yacht Club and World of Women.

How to use Nifty Gateway

Nifty Gateway offers both a web and mobile app version of its platform.

To start, users will be prompted to sign up by creating a custodial account using an email address or by connecting to a wallet address through MetaMask.

Buying NFTs on Nifty Gateway

Once connected, users can set their payment methods. Under the top righthand menu, users can then click on "Account Settings" and then "Payment Methods" to link funds to their account.

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Nifty Gateway's website (niftygateway.com)

Users have the option of paying for NFTs by linking a credit or debit card, using the balance on their Gemini account or depositing ETH directly from a MetaMask wallet into a prepaid ETH wallet address secured by the platform.

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Nifty Gateway's website (niftygateway.com)

After users set their payment preferences, they can browse Nifty Gateway’s primary marketplace of Curated Drops or Verified Drops. Drops can be listed in several ways, depending on the creator’s preference, and include Open Editions, Packs, Auctions and more. On the Marketplace tab, users can find collections that have been verified by the Nifty Gateway team and are reselling on the secondary market.

Selling NFTs on Nifty Gateway

To put up an NFT for sale, users can either list their NFTs in ETH directly from their MetaMask wallet or sell NFTs for U.S. dollars by registering as an authorized seller.

To sell an NFT for ETH using the w2w option, users can go to their profiles and select an NFT they would like to list by clicking “List for Sale.” Note: Users must approve the transfer from their wallet to Nifty Gateway’s exchange wallet, and users will need to pay gas fees when they approve the exchange.

To sell NFTs for U.S. dollars, users can authorize their account through Stripe. Users will be taken to the Stripe site, where they will be prompted to connect either their bank account or debit card to receive a payout.

Artists and creators of an NFT collection will need to register with Nifty Gateway to list their NFTs exclusively on the platform.

Is Nifty Gateway safe?

Nifty Gateway is a popular choice for users looking to buy and sell exclusive NFTs that are verified and curated by the Nifty Gateway platform. Because Nifty Gateway is owned by Gemini, the service benefits from the cryptocurrency exchange's tools and security methods.

Still, the site isn't impervious to hacks. In March 2021, a small number of users on the site reported that their NFTs had gone missing from their Nifty Gateway accounts. The platform said that those compromised accounts didn't have two-factor authentication and that the website itself hadn't been breached. Some users said that Nifty Gateway was able to return their stolen assets.

Overall, Nifty Gateway offers a unique custodial option and curated NFT collections that make it attractive for users looking to buy and sell exclusive art collections.


This article was originally published on Aug 17, 2022 at 9:29 p.m. UTC

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Griffin McShane is a freelance writer for CoinDesk, currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Griffin has also written the Inside Crypto newsletter for Jason Calacanis' Inside.com and is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

CoinDesk - Unknown

Griffin McShane is a freelance writer for CoinDesk, currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Griffin has also written the Inside Crypto newsletter for Jason Calacanis' Inside.com and is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).


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